Facebook Timeline delayed but is still coming, so what’s it like?

Andrew Birkitt

Lead Technical Engineer
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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Recently we decided to take a look at the new Facebook Timeline which is still currently in beta, we couldn’t wait any longer and so used the developer’s app method to get an early sneak peak, if you want to take a look as well then you can find out how here. I’m not going to get involved in the raging debate about privacy and all the rest of it as that’s something I think for each of us to decide individually, when you set up your Timeline profile you can choose to hide elements that you don’t wish to be visible anyway.

One of the first things you will notice is the nice big banner at the top of the page known as the cover image. This can be any image that you already have on Facebook or you can upload a new one, even create a custom image (850×315). To the right of this is the quick jump date range which allows you to easily and quickly locate previous months and years in your timeline.

Just below this new cover image area is the new about section and an area where you can view your friends, photos, subscribers, likes and apps etc and you can drill down into any of these sections to view more details simply by clicking on any of the categories.  Clicking on the map for example will expand this section and show any Stories, Life Events, Photo’s etc that have had the location tag completed.

Directly below all of this is the timeline slider and this is the main difference, the timeline lists all of the ‘stories’ that you have ever posted in a reverse chronological order. Initially there is a complete list of your most recent ‘stories’ but as you move back through the timeline Facebook’s algorithm starts to show what it considers the more important aspects. Down the centre of the blue timeline you will notice that there are a series of blue dots, each of these is an individual event attached to a story and as you go further down the timeline you will notice that there are just dots, hovering over each of these will then display the relevant story. You can view all updates from any given month by clicking the show all stories button at the end of any given month on the timeline.

You can of course edit your timeline, you can add events by hovering over the timeline until the little ‘+’ symbol appears, you can also add status updates, photos videos and even life events if you should so wish. Removing events from the timeline is just as easy, hover over the top right corner of the ‘story’ you wish to remove and click the little ‘pencil’ icon to edit or remove.

The little ‘star’ icon here allows you to make that post a ‘feature story’ which will then expand across the full width of the profile. This is a great way to showcase any elements on the timeline that you don’t wish anyone to miss.

A great option that I really like is the ability to hide the annoying sidebar that everyone has been complaining about. In the bottom right corner of the screen is a little close icon and voila its gone.

You can even change the privacy settings of any post simply by clicking the little icon that appears under the name of the post so you are in complete control.

Initial judgement is that I actually like it, I am sure that I will learn more over the coming months and if I discover any little tips I will endeavour to share them here, in the meantime I’m off for another play.

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